Media @ McGill

Straw, Will


Professor, Director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada

Interest and Bio: 

Will Straw is Professor of Communications in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies at McGill University. He has been the Director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada since June 1, 2011. Dr. Straw was awarded the David Thomson Award for Graduate Supervision and Teaching from McGill University in 2006. He has been music correspondent for Prime Time (CBC Radio), popular culture correspondent for the Women's Television Network, and a cultural commentator for Newswatch (CBC Television, Montreal.) He comments regularly on media and cultural issues for a variety of media.

Dr. Straw has been Visiting Professor at the University of the Arts (Belgrade), the National Autonomous University of Mexico (Mexico City), the Federal University of Bahia (Brazil) and the Central European University (Budapest).

Will Straw's interests include urban culture and the history of print culture, popular music studies and cinema.


Will Straw currently has three funded research projects. One, on “The Urban Night as Interdisciplinary Object,” deals with the ways in which the culture of night is mediatized, represented, regulated and occupied. For more on this project, visit A second project, “The Film Extra and its Historical Meanings,” deals with the status of the extra or small-part player within cinema. Finally, Dr. Straw is director of the interdisciplinary, interuniversity research team “Media and Urban Life in Montreal”.


(For a full list of all publications, including access to downloads, visit

Recent publications by Will Straw include the following edited volumes:

“Formes urbaines”. Co-edited with Anouk Bélanger and Annie Gérin.  Montréal:  Esse, 2014.

Intersections of Media and Communications: Concepts and Critical Frameworks . Co-edited by Will Straw, Sandra Gabriele and Ira Wagman. Toronto: Emond Montgomery Publications. 2011. 

Aprehendiendo al delincuente:  Crimen y mediios en América del norte.  Co-edited by Graciela Martinez-Zalce, Will Straw and Susana Vargas. Mexico City: CISAN/UNAM and Media@McGill, 2011.

Bâtir/Build. Co-edited with James Cisneros. Special issue of Intermédialités, no. 14, 2010.

Circulation and the City: Essays on Urban Culture. Co-edited with Alexandra Boutros. McGill-Queens University Press, 2010.

“Are We American?” Special dossier in Quebec Studies, vol. 33, no. 48 (Fall 2009-Winter 2010), co-edited with Erin Hurley. 


War and Peace.  Catalogue essay.  Michael Blum, “War and Peace.”  Vox Gallery, Montreal, January – February 2014.

“A City of Sin No More”: Sanitizing Montreal in Print Culture, 1964–71.”  International Journal of Canadian Studies, no. 48 (2014), pp. 137-152. 

“Les journaux et la vie urbaine.”  Médias 19, December, 2013.

“Cenas Culturais e as consequências imprevistas das políticas públicas” in Jeder Janotti, Jr. and Simone Pereira de Sá, editors.  Cenas Musicais.   São Paulo, Brazil :  Editora Anadarco, 2013.

“Public Screens and Urban Life.”  In Carol Vernallis, Amy Herzog, and John Richardson, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Sound and Image in Digital Media.  London and New York:  Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. 92-98 

Introduction to the reissue of Al Palmer, Sugar-Puss on Dorchester Street [1950].  Montreal:  Véhicule Press, 2013.

“Action Classics”:  Ways of thinking about the budget DVD corpus.”  In  André Habib and Michel Marie, editors.  L’Avenir de la mémoire : patrimoine, restauration et réemploi cinématographiques.  Lille: Les Presses Universitaires du Septentrion, 2013.

Faculty page: 

Visit Professor Straw's faculty page here.

Personal website: 

Professor Straw's personal website.


Canadian culture and globalization; crime, visuality and print media; film studies; urban culture.